Tribeca Film Festival 2024: 8 Highlights from This Year’s Event | Festivals & Awards

June 17, 2024 - Movies

“The Devil’s Bath”

“Witches” would make a solid double feature with the latest from “Goodnight Mommy” and “The Lodge” filmmakers, another truly oppressively slow burn of a film. “The Devil’s Bath” opens with a woman throwing a crying baby off a waterfall and doesn’t let up from there. Set in the 18th century in Austria, it centers on a woman named Agnes (Anja Plaschg) who almost seems to be sinking into the mud of this gloomy land in a life that’s increasingly emotionally difficult on her. Loosely based on a real chapter of Austrian history, the film’s title comes from a phrase for depression or melancholia that pushed women of the time to murder, often their children, so they could be forgiven by the church before being executed. It’s essentially assisted suicide because taking your own life would keep these distraught women from heaven. “The Devil’s Bath” is a consistently bleak work, but it’s also incredibly confident in its filmmaking, unafraid to drag viewers into its dark world. It will be out in theaters later this month. Watch for a full review then.

“Black Table”

John James and Bill Mack’s documentary brings viewers to one of the most beloved academic institutions on Earth, interrogating how race impacts students at Yale College through the personal stories of Black alumni, who all (mostly) fondly remember what became known as the Black Table, a meeting place in the famous Commons Dining Hall. “Black Table” works not only because it has an interesting topic but also because the filmmakers clearly created a warm, open environment for the interview subjects, who came ready to start a conversation. The manner in which a prestigious institution like Yale can still fail to really support some of its most accomplished students is systemic to so many places in this country, and around the world. And any chance to listen to the absolutely brilliant Wesley Morris should be taken.

“Adult Best Friends”

As someone who has seen enough festival indie “friend comedies” for a lifetime, I have to admit to somewhat dreading this one, but Delaney Buffett avoids the traps of this genre by staying true to her characters. And making a genuinely funny movie helps too. Buffett plays Delaney, half of a BFF duo with Katie (Katie Corwin), whose life seems to be heading in a different direction. When Katie gets engaged to her boyfriend John (Mason Gooding), she’s basically too scared to tell Delaney, worried about what it will do to the rift already growing between them. To break the news, they plan a girls trip that leads to a few clichéd situations but Buffett and Corwin keep it grounded with genuinely likable performances. That likability extends to a fun supporting cast that includes Cazzie David and Zachary Quinto. I have a feeling this will land on Netflix or Hulu in the not-too-distant future and be a surprising word-of-mouth hit.

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